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Defence to collaborate on EA-18 Growler capability enhancement

Australia will collaborate with the US Navy to continue developing the ALQ-249 Next generation jammer for the EA-18 Growler. Photo: Defence

Australia has expanded its partnership with the US Navy to develop the ALQ-149 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) system for the RAAFs EA-18G Growler. This will replace the current ALQ-99 jamming system on the Growler.

The three versions of the NGJ – Mid Band, Low Band and High Band – are designed to disrupt, deceive or deny a broad range of hostile military electronic systems, including radars and communications.

“Australia entered an initial agreement in October 2017 to work with the US Navy to develop the Next Generation Jammer, which will supersede the current system,” Minister Reynolds said. “We’ve now signed two new agreements to expand this partnership. The first includes production, sustainment and follow-on development of the ALQ-249(V)1 Next Generation Jammer – Mid Band which supports the introduction of advanced electronic jamming technology, and will ensure Australia’s Growler aircraft retain commonality with their US counterparts.

“The second agreement enables the development of the next variant, the Next Generation Jammer – Low Band. These systems will augment, and ultimately replace, most legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming Systems currently used on the Growler.”

According to respected Australian publication ADBR, the ALQ-249 NGJ-MB is being developed by Raytheon; the NGJ-LB is currently the subject of a technology demonstrator process in which Northrop Grumman and L3Harris are developing solutions prior to award of a development contract later this year.

The Next Generation Jammer – Low Band counters low frequency adversary systems, increasing survivability and lethality of 4th and 5th generation platforms and enables all-domain access for the joint force by supporting electromagnetic spectrum dominance.

“This is a rapidly evolving area and to ensure these aircraft remain at the technological forefront throughout their service life, we will continue to work in partnership with the US Navy to develop the next generation jamming capability,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The expansion of the jammer partnership will build on Australia’s strong and long-standing relationship with the US Navy giving Australia access to cutting edge technologies.”

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